Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Penguin (25 Oct 2012)
In newly liberated Paris, battle-ravaged photographer Robert Capa is drowning his sorrows. After ten years of recording horror and violence, he longs for for a diversion.
Ingrid Bergman has been sent to entertain the troops and when she walks into the Ritz Hotel, Capa is enchanted. From the moment he slips a mischievous invitation to dinner under her door, the two find themselves helplessly attracted. Ingrid, tired of her passionless marriage, and her controlling film studio, is desperate for freedom and excitement.
And Capa is willing to oblige. Dinners in cafés he can’t afford. Night walks along the Seine. Dancing barefoot in nightclubs. Trysts in hotel rooms. He brings her back to life and she fills the hole inside him.
With everything at stake, both Capa and Ingrid are presented with terrible choices.
Full of the romantic glamour of 40s Paris and Hollywood, Seducing Ingrid Bergman tells the heart-wrenching story of the secret affair between the iconic Casablanca star and the famous photographer.
The story opens with Robert Capa taking photographs while parachuting with the paratroopers from the 17th Airbourne Division. It’s a March day in 1945. This is my favourite part of the book. It’s full of action and very descriptive.
Next, we’re with Ingrid at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on the night she wins an Academy Award. Husband Petter does not appear to be happy and they leave after midnight at Petter’s request … before dessert and the dancing begins. Ingrid should be feeling euphoric but she’s feeling flat.
This is our introduction of the two leads and where they are in their lives. Once they’ve met at The Ritz, the story unfolds of their attraction and their affair.
There are two narratives in Seducing Ingrid Bergman. When Capa is involved the narrative is from his perspective (1st person) while time with Ingrid is 3rd person.
Although Greenhalgh’s writing technique includes personification/metaphors (which if you read my reviews you’ll know I love, adding depth and meaning for me) I feel there were too many. This meant I didn’t engage with the story as much as I thought I would. The ‘flowery’ language created a wall so that I didn’t experience the emotions of the characters, therefore not identifying with either leads.
There is another part of the story I enjoyed … when Capa is narrating the liberation of Paris. This came to to life for me with how Greenhalgh conveys the exuberance of the city.
My enjoyment may have been greatly reduced because of my lack of engagement with the leads but EasyLiving has this to say:
“Absorbing and passionate, the whirlwind romance between the war photographer and actress – who met in Paris 1945, where Bergman had been sent to entertain the troops – will whisk you away to another world. The perfect autumn read. “
My rating is a reflection of my personal opinion:
I would like to thank the publishers for sending a copy in exchange for an honest review.
You can find out more about the author on his website.